North Korea says it wants nuclear capability

Pyongyang, March 31 (IANS) North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said Sunday the country had adopted a new strategy of carrying out economic construction and building nuclear armed forces simultaneously.

North Korea will develop a “self-reliant nuclear power industry” and “light water reactor” to ease the strain on the country’s electricity supply, the official KCNA news agency quoted Kim as saying.

According to Xinhua, he was speaking at a plenary meeting of the Central Committee of the Workers Party of Korea.

“The DPRK’s nuclear armed forces represent the nation’s life, which can never be abandoned as long as the imperialists and nuclear threats exist on earth,” he said.

Kim said the new strategy was “a strategic line to be always held fast to,” not a temporary countermeasure for coping with the rapidly changing situation.

“The self-reliant nuclear power industry should be developed and the work for developing a light water reactor be dynamically promoted to actively contribute to easing the strain on the electricity problem of the country,” he said.

North Korea would also accelerate the development of space science and technology and more advanced satellites, including communications satellites, he said.

“The DPRK’s possession of nukes should be fixed by law and the nuclear armed forces should be expanded and beefed up qualitatively and quantitatively until the denuclearization of the world is realized,” Kim said.

He said that as a responsible nuclear weapons state, North Korea would make positive efforts to prevent nuclear proliferation, ensure peace and security in Asia and the world at large, and realize denuclearization of the whole world.

Kim’s remarks came just one day after North Korea said it had entered “a state of war” against South Korea, again escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

Pyongyang conducted a third nuclear test Feb. 12 following US-South Korean joint military drills.

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